How to Boost Your Self-Esteem
What does it mean to have a healthy self-esteem? Is it different than self-confidence? Can someone have a healthy self-esteem but low confidence? Or can someone have a high level of confidence but low self-esteem?
Those were interesting conversation points I discussed and explored with the teens in my GirlTalk weekly group.
“Self-esteem is an individual’s subjective evaluation of their own worth.”
It is the definition from wikipedia but it clearly defines the word. Self-esteem is how we value our own worth. I can have a healthy self-esteem which I believe in my own worth but it doesn’t mean I’m confident all the time. Confident reflects the ability I have toward something. I have confidence in the area of my speciality or my strength but I definitely do not have confidence in the area of my weakness.
I am totally okay with it. I know I do not have to be good at everything.
On the other hand, confidence is an ability which can be acquired and improved over time.
I did not have the confidence toward my body in the past but I gained the confidence by attending barre classes three to four times a week for the past 8 years. I might still not have the perfect body up to my standard but I have gained tremendous confidence in my own journey. I am so proud of myself not giving up easily but pushing myself through it.
What does it look like to have a healthy self-esteem?
You learn to get to KNOW yourself, your true self. You get to know your strengths and weakness, your likes and dislikes, what you want out of life or what you do not want out of life, your goals and dreams…
The good, bad, and ugly.
Make a list of 10 of your strengths and 10 weaknesses. If you have a hard time coming up with your strengths, think about what others have said about you: you’re a good listener, you are thoughtful, you cook a mean burger.
When you’re done making this list, you’ll see there are plenty of things you are really good at. And, some of the weaknesses may be things you can absolutely change over time and with some effort.
After getting to know yourself as a whole, you learn to ACCEPT it as a whole. Yes, accept it. We can only achieve our internal peace if we accept our true self. We need to accept that we have limits and we are not perfect. We can make mistakes and we need to forgive ourselves.
Perfection doesn’t exist. Now you may think all of those Hollywood A-listers that are on the cover of magazines are the epitome of perfection, but even they are air-brushed, photoshopped and have a team of people following them around so their hair is never out of place.
Instead of focusing on the perfection we’d like to achieve, I’m working on taking one step at a time. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.”
Do I have to build Rome? No, you don’t have to if that’s your decision. Accept it and move on.
When you have a level self-esteem, you RESPECT yourself. You will not allow any mistreatment toward you and you stand up for yourself. You believe you are worthy and deserve to be treated with respect. You will not tolerate anyone treats you unfairly.
This one came from our earlier childhood experience. If we were treated with respect, we would not doubt about the respect we deserve from self and others. If this one has never happened in the past, it’s time to give us the respect we deserve now.
Work with a therapist can sound very frightening but it can also be an adventure. If working one-on-one with a therapist sounds intimidating, join our group. You will find support from one another on your self-discovery journey.
Check our group page to find the group for you. We are looking to start one soon for middle schoolers. You can sign up here.